How Mathias Cormann voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should create a national integrity commission similar to the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) to detect, investigate and prevent corruption across all Commonwealth departments and agencies

Division Mathias Cormann Supporters vote Division outcome

13th Sep 2018, 12:23 PM – Senate Motions - International Day of Democracy - Corruption and donations

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The majority voted against a motion that called for, among other things, a federal anti-corruption agency to be created as well as certain political donations to be banned.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) 15 September 2018 is International Day of Democracy,

(ii) Australia's democracy faces systemic challenges in the corrupting influence of political donations and the under-representation of minorities in decision-making positions, and

(iii) Australia's Parliament does not reflect the composition of the Australian population in terms of gender or cultural diversity; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) ban corporate donations from industries with a history of undue influence in Australia's Parliament, such as mining, development, tobacco, alcohol and gambling,

(ii) withdraw proposed electoral funding legislation that restricts the ability of civil society to advocate in the public interest,

(iii) take measures to increase the participation of women and people from minority backgrounds in Australia's political systems, and

(iv) urgently establish a national anti-corruption body with investigative powers to address parliamentary and ministerial misconduct.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

11th Sep 2018, 3:46 PM – Senate Motions - National Independent Commission Against Corruption - Create

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) recognises:

(i) the notion that the Federal Government is less prone to corruption than its counterparts is not supported by evidence,

(ii) that the potential risks for corruption at a national level have increased significantly in recent years due to several factors including, but not limited to, increased government control of information, increased funding needs of political campaigns and the growth of the lobbying industry,

(iii) that these risks are not currently being adequately mitigated through offence provisions, public sector standards or supervision by various regulatory bodies, and

(iv) that, in the most recent Corruption Perceptions Index, Australia was ranked 13th out of 168 countries;

(b) notes that:

(i) a national independent commission against corruption should be established,

(ii) this independent commission should be called the National Independent Commission Against Corruption (NICAC), and

(iii) NICAC should follow the recommendations of Griffith University, namely, that the national commission act as a peak body through which all Commonwealth integrity and corruption complaints can be lodged; and

(c) calls on the Federal Government to begin the implementation of NICAC as soon as possible, so that all Australians can have confidence in the integrity of their Parliament, government and public institutions.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

15th Aug 2017, 4:01 PM – Senate Motions - Federal Anti-Corruption Commission - Create immediately

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The majority voted against a motion "That the Senate supports the immediate creation of a Federal Independent Commission Against Corruption (Federal ICAC)", which means the motion failed. It was introduced by Greens Leader Richard Di Natale.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

8th Feb 2017, 4:15 PM – Senate Motions - Federal Anti-Corruption Commission - Establish

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The majority voted against a motion to establish an independent federal anti-corruption commission, which means it was unsuccessful.

The motion was introduced by Australian Greens Party Senator Richard Di Natale.

Motion text

That the Senate supports the establishment of an independent federal anti-corruption commission to oversee federal members of parliament and the public service.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

19th Apr 2016, 6:30 PM – Senate Motions - Anti-Corruption Commission - Create federal body

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Richard Di Natale. The motion called for the Government to create a national Anti-Corruption Commission.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) corruption in any sector of society is unacceptable and threatens the fabric of our democracy, and

(ii) the Government's attempt to legislate the Australian Building and Construction Commission is not about corruption, but the enforcement of anti-worker laws; and

(b) calls on the Government to immediately legislate to establish a national Anti-Corruption Commission to address corruption among public officials and politicians that threatens the fabric of our democracy.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

24th Feb 2016, 4:28 PM – Senate Committees - Establishment of a National Integrity Commission - Appointment

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Palmer United Party Senator Dio Wang, which means that it was successful.

The motion called for a Select Committee to be created that will inquire into establishing a National Integrity Commission. The controversial parts of the motion concern the membership of this Committee. In particular:

(2) That the committee consist of 6 senators, 2 nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, 2 nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, and Senators Wang and Madigan.

[...]

(6) That Senator Wang is appointed chair.

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert attempted to amend the motion so that the Committee would have 7 members, including a Greens member, but it was unsuccessful.

Wording of the motion

(1) That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee relating to the establishment of a National Integrity Commission, be established to inquire into and report, on or before 22 September 2016, on the following matters:

(a) the adequacy of the Australian Government's legislative, institutional and policy framework in addressing all facets of institutional, organisational, political and electoral, and individual corruption and misconduct, with reference to:

(i) the effectiveness of the current federal and state/territory agencies and commissions in preventing, investigating and prosecuting corruption and misconduct,

(ii) the interrelation between federal and state/territory agencies and commissions, and

(iii) the nature and extent of coercive powers possessed by the various agencies and commissions, and whether those coercive powers are consistent with fundamental democratic principles;

(b) whether a national integrity commission should be established to address institutional, organisational, political and electoral, and individual corruption and misconduct, with reference to:

(i) the scope of coverage by any national integrity commission,

(ii) the legislative and regulatory powers required by any national integrity commission to enable effective operation,

(iii) the advantages and disadvantages associated with domestic and international models of integrity and anti-corruption commissions/agencies,

(iv) whether any national integrity commission should have broader educational powers,

(v) the necessity of any privacy and/or secrecy provisions,

(vi) any budgetary and resourcing considerations, and

(vii) any reporting accountability considerations; and

(c) any other related matter.

(2) That the committee consist of 6 senators, 2 nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, 2 nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, and Senators Wang and Madigan.

(3) That:

(a) participating members may be appointed to the committee on the nomination of the Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate or any minority groups or independent senators;

(b) participating members may participate in hearings of evidence and deliberations of the committee, and have all the rights of members of the committee, but may not vote on any questions before the committee; and

(c) a participating member shall be taken to be a member of the committee for the purpose of forming a quorum of the committee if a majority of members of the committee is not present.

(4) That every nomination of a member of the committee be notified in writing to the President of the Senate.

(5) That the committee may proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that not all members have been duly nominated and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.

(6) That Senator Wang is appointed chair.

(7) That the committee elect a member as its deputy chair, who shall act as chair when the chair is absent from a meeting of the committee or the position of chair is temporarily vacant.

(8) That the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, may appoint another member of the committee to act as chair during the temporary absence of both the chair and deputy chair at a meeting of the committee.

(9) That, in the event of an equally divided vote, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, has the casting vote.

(10) That 3 members of the committee constitute a quorum of the committee.

(11) That the committee have power to appoint subcommittees consisting of 2 or more of its members, and to refer to any such subcommittee any of the matters which the committee is empowered to examine.

(12) That 2 members of a subcommittee constitute a quorum of that subcommittee.

(13) That members of the committee who are not members of a subcommittee may participate in the proceedings of that subcommittee but shall not vote, move any motion or be counted for the purpose of a quorum.

(14) That the committee and any subcommittee have power to send for and examine persons and documents, to move from place to place, to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives, and have leave to report from time to time its proceedings, the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit.

(15) That the committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources and be empowered to appoint persons with specialist knowledge for the purposes of the committee with the approval of the President.

(16) That the committee be empowered to print from day to day such papers and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in public.

No Yes Passed by a small majority

24th Nov 2015, 3:51 PM – Senate Motions - Donations to Political Parties - Ban certain political donations & establish independent corruption commission

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, which means that it failed.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) former Newcastle Lord Mayor and developer, Mr Jeff McCloy, lost his High Court case to overturn a New South Wales law banning developers from making political donations,

(ii) in its finding on the case, the High Court identified a more subtle kind of corruption known as clientelism, which is where officeholders will decide issues not on the merits or the desires of their constituencies, but according to the wishes of those who have made large financial contributions valued by the officeholder,

(iii) the High Court also stated that the particular concern is that reliance by political candidates on private patronage may, over time, become so necessary as to sap the vitality, as well as the integrity, of the political branches of government, and

(iv) in dealing with solutions, the High Court found that, unlike straight cash-for-votes transactions, such corruption is neither easily detected nor practical to criminalise, and the best means of prevention is to identify and to remove the temptation; and

(b) calls on the Government:

(i) to ban political donations to parties and candidates from for-profit corporations, and

(ii) to establish an independent agency, similar to the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption, which works to expose corruption and enhance integrity at the federal level.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

13th Aug 2009, 9:53 AM – Senate Motions - Establish an Anti-Corruption Commission

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The majority voted against a motion that asked the Rudd Government to consider establishing a National Anti-Corruption and Integrity Commission, which means it failed.

The motion was introduced by Greens Senator Bob Brown.

Family First Senator Steve Fielding noted that there is already an Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, known as ACLEI. However Senator Brown responded that:

ACLEI does not cover the bureaucracy at large. It does not cover the parliament and it does not cover the matters that the public would want to see it cover. Part of our proposal is a request to the government to expand the functions of that organisation so it does cover the areas that, for example, the crime and anticorruption commissions in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia.

Read the whole debate for more details.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate calls on the Rudd Government to consider the establishment of a National Anti-Corruption and Integrity Commission which has the powers of a standing Royal Commission and the purview to detect, investigate and prevent corruption across all Commonwealth departments and agencies, the activities of Federal Parliament, Federal parliamentarians and Federal law enforcement agencies.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a large majority

How "voted moderately against" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 1 0 50
MP absent 4 100 200
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 2 2 4
Total: 102 264

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 102 / 264 = 39%.

And then